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ReVIEWS: If Only I Had Told Her

ReVIEWS: If Only I Had Told Her

The sequel to the book that broke everyone’s hearts. If Only I Had Told Her by Laura Nowlin was a book I had high expectations for, and they did not get met. This book only really explained the horrible few months after the tragedy, Finn dying, and then not recovering from it, and the entire story still felt so untold.

This book had been hyped up to be only Finn’s point of view of his and Autumn’s love story, yet his part felt the shortest. This book was separated into three parts, Finn’s before tragedy point of view, Jack’s after tragedy side of the story, and Autumn’s after tragedy viewpoint. Finn’s perspective started just a day before the tragedy that left everyone who loved him heartbroken. This day also felt very rushed. Throughout Finn’s entire section of the story, there were flashbacks, but not very many. His side of the story felt like it was missing something. It really just kept telling the readers how much Finn loved Autumn, but it was never explained why. His love for Autumn felt like it appeared out of thin air, instead of  a build up. Even though it kept saying how he built his love up for her, it still didn’t feel like it. I expected so much more from Finn’s point of view, and I was really disappointed with what I was given.

Heading into Jack and Autumns point of view was heart wrenching. It talked about how they couldn’t live without Finn, and how they really didn’t have anyone other than family to talk to about it. Both of their points of views took place days or weeks after the tragedy. Jack was Finn’s best friend, and he just talked about how he was supposed to do so much with Finn, but he never got to because Finn’s life was taken too soon. He was becoming very independent, even after he moved away to college. He kept to himself, and lied to his family about how he was doing. He didn’t make any friends and avoided people. He hadn’t even said more than a few words to his roommate. He was selfless throughout the entire process though, always caring to check up on other people, and never caring to check up on himself. Thankfully, by the end of his perspective he realized he had something in common with his roommate. They both lost their best friend, and were trying to navigate life without them. They confided in each other, and could openly express how they felt and the pain that each of them were in, which was nice to know, but I still feel like Jack’s story could have been better. I would’ve liked to know that he healed and was doing better on his own. As for Autumn, she struggled throughout everything. It was very clear that she never really healed, but who would after losing the love of their life? Every little thing reminded her of Finn. She also went through completely different struggles at the same time. She had very little to do, but eventually made or reconnected with “old” friends. I feel like her point of view could have had some parts left out, so that there could have been room for her life a year later to see how she was really doing, but clearly, that didn’t happen. Both Jack and Autumn’s perspectives felt unfinished.

Finally, I wish Finn’s moms perspective would have been told. She was just as heartbroken as Autumn when he died, and I feel like she just shoved her feelings away to care about Autumn. She had to suffer losing her only child, as a single mom and at the early age of 18. Her story, and her life after, was never told. There were little references to her, but not enough to get more information about her. She put on a brave face for everyone around her, but was most likely struggling in silence. I really wish the readers could have heard about her and how she coped with the tragedy from an involved mother’s perspective.

Overall, I did not like this novel. I don’t think it would ruin someone’s day by reading this book, I just think it would leave them questioning how things ended, and personally, I don’t like that. All I wanted, and I think every reader wanted from this novel was closure, and we didn’t get it.

Rating ⅗ stars

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About the Contributor
Emily Epperly
Emily Epperly, Focus Editor
My name is Emily and I am so excited for my first year on staff! I am a freshman, and play on the freshman volleyball team. I can't wait to see what this year holds!